There is no better way to spend a clear, starry night than sitting outside around the fire with loved ones.
Breathing in that cool night air while feeling the toasty warmth of the flames can help you relax and break free of your worries.
What happens when it’s time to hit the hay, and the fire is still burning? What is the best way to put out a fire pit?
One thing’s for sure; you must extinguish the flames completely.
- Why You Shouldn’t Leave a Fire Pit Burning
- Best Way To Put Out a Fire Pit
- More Ways To Put Out a Fire Pit Without Water
- Putting Out a Fire Pit: The Takeaway
Why You Shouldn’t Leave a Fire Pit Burning
Even leaving the fire burning low can be a recipe for disaster.
Residential fires are the leading cause of fire-related deaths and injuries. In 2020, these fires caused more than 350,000 houses in the United States to burn down.
It was also found that half of pediatric burn injuries from outdoor fires resulted from falling into bonfires, campfires, or fire pits.
While we’re all for enjoying the warmth and comfort of our outdoor fire pits, it’s important to do so safely and responsibly.
That means taking extra care to prevent fire-related injuries in your own home.
Before we get into this fire-extinguishing business, let’s first remind you of the importance of having a home insurance policy.
Having one means you are covered for any fire damage to your home.
Best Way To Put Out a Fire Pit
Unless your fire pit is gas-powered, it’s not going to extinguish itself the moment you decide to turn in for the night.
To put out an outdoor fire pit successfully, you must carefully follow these steps:
Step 1: Stop adding fuel.
A bit of forethought is necessary for the first step in fire-extinguishing.
Know exactly when you want to put out the fire, and stop adding fuel or wood around an hour before that time.
That way, the fire can be extinguished on schedule.
In case you are using a firestarter or commercial fire log, separate it from the rest of the fuel by moving it to the side of the pit.
Removing the log outright can be dangerous, so set it aside away from the fire instead. Once away from the flames, smother the log in ash to cease the burning.
Quick tip: Spread the logs out so that they aren’t touching. That way, they will burn faster.
Step 2: Allow the fire to burn down.
Now that you’re no longer feeding the fire, it should start to burn down. By the time you need to put it out, there won’t be much to put out but a few flames.
Still, it’s important to keep in mind that even after you stop adding fuel, you should still do everything you can to speed up the process.
For instance, clearing away ash using a stick or shovel should expedite the burning process.
You must also be careful not to touch anything in the pit with your bare hands or flick the embers that some of them make their way to the surroundings.
A piece of coal or wood may no longer be burning, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scorching hot or that it can’t start a fire.
Before moving on to the next step, the fire should have already burned to ash.
Quick tip: Let the fire burn for around 45 minutes to an hour before putting it out.
Step 3: Douse the fire with water.
Whatever fire in the pit that remains burning, douse it with a garden hose or a bucket of water.
In case you choose the hose, opt for the light spray setting as opposed to the jet, as jet water produces sparks.
When dousing the remaining flames with water, make sure to put a good distance between yourself and the pit.
Water that bounces off the pit or the steam created will be hot enough to burn anyone nearby.
It is common to hear sizzling or sputtering sounds as you douse the flames.
Keep spraying water until you no longer hear these sounds, as that would indicate that the fire has stopped entirely.
Make sure to cover every bit of ash with water, too. Just because it’s no longer red or glowing doesn’t mean it is not hot enough to burn.
Step 4: Stir the embers.
After dousing the flames with water, poke around the ashes and embers using a stick or shovel.
Make sure to inspect every inch of the pit for burning coal or wood pieces you might have missed putting out.
Once you detect steam or any hot spots beneath the pile of ashes, spray again until they are put out completely.
Step 5: Inspect the fire and the surroundings.
Check again for heat in your fire pit before moving on.
Be extra careful and check every inch of the pit. Do not rush the process. The presence of even the slightest bit of heat means there might still be lit ashes and embers.
Don’t leave the pit alone until everything in it is cool to the touch.
Once the pit is clear of heat or any burning items, start checking the surroundings for debris that may have escaped.
Inspect the area around the pit for sparks, embers, or ash that may need extinguishing.
Quick tip: Empty your pit of cool ashes to prevent rust formation.
More Ways To Put Out a Fire Pit Without Water
Whether it’s a fire in the fire pit or anywhere else, people normally use water to put it out.
Still, there are ways to extinguish flames without using H2O, which are great options if you’re trying to conserve water.
Let’s check out some of these alternatives.
1. Covering the Flames With Dirt or Sand
Who needs water when you have sand? Sand or dirt allows you to put out flames that have already died down.
To do this, just scoop out some dry dirt or sand and pour it onto the pit to extinguish the flames.
Then, stir the sand around to make sure the embers are put out completely. Inspect the pit and the surroundings before leaving the area.
The sand or dirt method is best used on metal fire pits used one season after another.
Remember not to leave water sitting on your metal fire pit, as that could contribute to corrosion. In fact, avoid using water on a metal fire pit, period.
2. Using a Snuffer
In some fire pits, you get a snuffer to use to put the fire out.
Since fires need oxygen to keep burning, you need to cut the oxygen supply to snuff them out. That’s what a snuffer is for.
It is a lid you cover the pit with to prevent oxygen from coming in and creating flames.
You can purchase snuffers separately, so don’t worry if your fire pit doesn’t come with one.
Pick out a solid bowl-shaped snuffer that cuts off airflow effectively. In some designs, the air can still flow through, making them ineffective at putting out fires.
Aside from snuffing out flames, snuffers also function as fire pit covers for unused fire pits.
They can keep items or any debris from falling into the pit. It also lets you use the pit as a table when a fire isn’t burning inside it.
3. Turning the Fire Pit Off
Fires in gas fire pits are the easiest to extinguish; you just turn the device off before leaving.
Some gas fire pits can be switched off using a key, so make sure not to lose the key.
You mustn’t also set the key close to the fire for obvious reasons. For one, it might get accidentally heated and burn you as a result.
Like other fire pits, gas-powered versions also need post-fire inspections before leaving them alone.
4. Using an Extinguisher
This one should be used in case of emergencies. If you have a fire or something that burns in your home, for that matter, you need to learn how to use this piece of equipment.
Instructions for use should be printed on the canister if you have trouble, but the PASS method is an effective guideline.
- P – Pull the pin to break the tamper seal.
- A – Aim the hose or nozzle at the fire’s base. The CO2 mustn’t be touched since it’s cool enough to damage the skin.
- S – Squeeze the handle to release the foam.
- S – Sweep the foam from side to side at the flame’s base until the fire is put out completely.
Don’t leave just yet; monitor the area in case fire reignites from somewhere.
Putting Out a Fire Pit: The Takeaway
Outdoor fire pits are great for making memories with loved ones at home.
There’s nothing like spending a beautiful evening by the fire, catching up with loved ones over hot cocoa and roasted marshmallows.
However, it’s important to keep the evening from going up in flames.
The best way to put out a fire pit takes all of five steps; there’s really nothing to it.
Let this guide help you become a safe and responsible fire pit owner and user.
To be doubly sure, take out an insurance policy on your home so that when flames end up wreaking havoc, you get coverage for damage to your home and other structures.